Copyright © February 2, 2002 8:02 PM by Paul Niquette
All rights reserved.
2002 rolled around, many people took note that it was a
palindromic year; some remarked, rather wistfully, that
no person alive today will see another one.
Indeed, within each millenium, palindromic years occur
only once every 110 years.
On the same day, Associated Press reported that Mark Saltveit, editor of Palindromist Magazine, threw a party, giving special recognition to those who were around in 1991, since having two palindromic years eleven years apart occurs only once every 1,000 years. Saltveit suggested a palindromic party menu:
Ham -- ah!
Winner of the New York City Marathon in 1996 was the Romanian runner Anuta Catuna, whose name is a palindrome, in 2 hour 28 minutes and 18 seconds -- exactly four seconds under a palindromic time interval when punctuated 2:28:22 (oh right, but that was five years after the palindromic year of 1991, sheesh).
Numerical palindromes also include
sequences that can be read upside down as well as
backwards: 1961 is one date worth remembering.
How many others can you find?
Other numerical examples are prime palindromes.
are rare. Examples of word palindromes include
"civic," "madam," "radar," and "deified."
Literary palindromes are not easy to create.
Consider this one by Peter Hilton, one of the geniuses
who helped break the Nazi codes during WWII...
Doc, note. I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.There are hundreds of palindromes accessible on the Internet. As literature, though, even the ones that are not too bad are not too good. One of the most famous is...
Able was I ere I saw Elba.
Examples of verse include (in Latin) "Roma tibi subito motibus ibit amor" and "Signa te, signa temere me tangis et angis." Imagine the difficulty of composing verses each word of which is the same read backward as forward -- for instance, that of William Camden:
Odo tenet mulum madidam mappam tenet
e come now to Emor D. Nilap, who is merely one of the collaborators in my book entitled The Imitation Game. Other automatons include Ana Pest (an aspiring poet, of course), S. A. Render (essayist), and Otto Prosaic (punk novelist).
To honor her birthday one year, a friend commissioned a palindrome for his wife, Janet. Old Emor came up with the following bewilderment (in 2:32 on my 100 MHz Pentium):
Was not e'en a smile?
Emor D. Nilap is not above resorting to vulgarities (reader discretion is advised). My old friend Norm Bryga has a last name that offered an exceptional challenge to Emor.
Pose buttons as time.
Perhaps readers will be as shocked as I was with what the Nilap algorithm produced when seeded with "Rodham"...
Gnaw in modem mark, Rodham!
...which gives new meaning to the expression 'free verse'. That's nothing, though. For satirical palindromes targeting political figures, click here.
Here are seven words, each containing what might be called an "embedded palindrome"...
One might fear overlooking a self-referent palindrome. Or not.
Anagrams, of which the palindrome is merely a
special case, have abundant coverage in
cyberspace. My favorite is an "Anagram
Server" offered by Wordsmith, which anagrammed
NIQUETTE into 10 selections, including QUIET NET and
-- oh right, QUEEN TIT.
Prime Palindromes from correspondents since 2002, began with a question...
How many prime numbers are decimal palindromes?
By scanning the tabulation in Prime Number Numbers, it does not take long to get an answer: In the first 1,220 prime numbers, there are exactly 16 decimal palindromes...
11, 101, 131, 151, 181, 191, 313, 353, 373, 383, 727, 757, 787, 797, 919, 929
...and one might be forgiven
for supposing that the three-digit entries will play
a rôle in five-digit decimal palindromes, such that
this series may become relevant…
x101x, x131x, x151x, … x929x…where x can have only the values 1 or 3 or 7 or 9, and then one will see that the general form will be 10001x + 10p, where p is one of the three-digit primes. If so, considering that 10001 is itself a prime, then what general statement can be made about the primeness of the five-digit sum? Duh. Primes don't really care much about sums.
eanwhile, it is easy to show that there are no four-digit decimal palindromes among the prime numbers, and sophisticated solvers are invited to prove that there are no prime decimal palindromes with an even number of digits (except one).
Contributors to this section include most notably Richard Alexander, Don Lauria, Bill LaSor, and John Swanson.
palindrome n. word, number, sentence, or verse that reads the same backward or forward. The term derives from the Greek palin dromo ("running back again"). [Gk palindromos running back again, fr. palin back, again + dramein to run; akin to Gk polos axis] (ca. 1629): a word, verse, or sentence (as "Able was I ere I saw Elba") or a number (as 1881) that reads the same backward or forward -- palindromic adj -- palindromist n.
anagram n.a word or phrase made by transposing the letters of another word or phrase. Etymology: probably from Middle French anagramme, from New Latin anagrammat-, anagramma, modification of Greek anagrammatismos, from anagrammatizein to transpose letters, from ana- + grammat-, gramma letter Date: 1589.
-- Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
More than a year and a day since the
copyright date of Palindromes
for All Times have passed.
Shortly after the non-palindromic date 03/03/03, at
least one sophisticated solver gave evidence of the
palindromic power to chase challenges. Here is a
message received from Ketan Bhaidasna
with replies interspersed...